The Zipper Merge: Vote Now

Staff Blog

Staff Blog | May 21, 2014

The zipper merge (aka late merging) is one of the most controversial maneuvers in traffic! Chances are you've had an argument with your spouse or your in-laws about this very thing--most likely while trapped in slow moving traffic.

(Adapted from

Here's how it works: You see your lane is ending ahead. As a polite, road-sharing individual, you change lanes as soon as possible. But now all these jerks are passing you in the soon-to-be closed lane. Who do they think they are?!

Or maybe you saw that sign too, but you read somewhere that maintaing your lane and merging safely at the last minute actually improves the flow of traffic for everyone. After all, why waste 1500 feet of perfectly good lane?

The zipper merge, when done right, actually reduces traffic backup by up to 50%. Not convinced? Our pals at explain how it works (they've even got a video!) Still not convinced? That's OK! Like any controversial topic, there's no room for "evidence" or "calm, rational discussion". So we've decided to settle this the Car Talk way, with a highly unscientific survey. Vote right here!

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